Part two of this three-part article examines specific types of activated water.

Ozone is an oxidizer that deodorizes, sanitizes, and destroys bacteria, fungi, mold and allergens. Ozonated products quickly and safely convert back to oxygen.

“We use electronics to infuse extra oxygen out and into the water — that’s a very simplified explanation,” says John Hengsperger of Tersano Inc. in Oldcastle, Ontario, Canada. “In time, that solution just turns right back into water and oxygen again. Even though we create something that’s a strong oxidizer, it’s not a strong chemical. It’s a safe, nontoxic chemical.”

Ozone products can clean and sanitize everything from hard floors and carpeting to stainless steal, counters, furniture and more.

“We’ll replace your glass cleaner, neutral cleaner, stainless cleaner, all-purpose cleaner and your deodorizer. The only thing we won’t replace is your hospital-grade disinfectant,” says Hengsperger. “One customer we transitioned had 10 different chemicals, and we took them down to two: our product for the cleaning, then a disinfectant. The beauty of it as a cleaner is that it’s also a sanitizer as well.”

The goal is to change the product being used, not the way staff does its job, says Hengsperger. The ozone product is dispensed into bottles, mop buckets and extractors the same way traditional products are, and it’s used to clean and sanitize in ways similar to traditional products. This makes it easier for cleaning staffs to transition to the new product.

Despite having a solution that is stronger than bleach and hydrogen peroxide, the safety rating of ozonated water is 0-0-0.

“If you get it on your skin, in your eyes or even if you drink it by accident, there’s no harm done,” says Hengsperger.

Additional savings for customers have included a dramatic drop in slip-and-fall lawsuits due to a lack of chemical residue on the floor and a higher gloss finish that helps customers delay or avoid stripping and rewaxing.

Another player in the engineered and activated water scene is San Antonio-based GenEon Technologies, a design and development firm that has created multiple technologies using electrochemical activation to produce a hypochlorous acid-based cleaner, sanitizer and disinfectant, as well as a color-coded glass and general purpose cleaner, and a heavy-duty degreaser made from potassium.

“Engineered water is based on the platform of electrochemical activation,” says John Shanahan, GenEon’s vice president of sales and marketing. “All electrochemical activation until GenEon came along was based on the concept of taking salt water and electrifying it with a low voltage to get the sodium and chloride to separate, creating a stream of sodium hydroxide on one side and hypochlorous acid on the other.”

Hypochlorous acid is 80 to 200 times more effective than bleach as a disinfectant, he says, but it’s nontoxic. In the past, the chemistry was understood, but the machines that separated the solutions were large and expensive.

“We thought, it’s got to be as easy to use and as intuitive as a cell phone, and it should be affordable,” says Shanahan. “So we looked at the technology, we shrunk the machines in size, and we stripped out some of the components and parts that we didn’t feel were essential to the development of hypochlorous acid and added easy-to-identify color-coded cleaners and degreasers.”

One differentiator for these engineered water products is that they aren’t clear. Using minerals and food-grade organic dyes, GenEon’s glass and general-purpose cleaner is blue and its heavy-duty degreaser is green.

“That decision was made partly based on feedback from distributors, who wanted an easy way to sell and present products that users would be able to use and interpret with ease,” says Shanahan. “We don’t want our customer to be confused by two colorless liquids.”

GenEon is working with the EPA to unveil one of the first-ever registered disinfectant in engineered-water form.

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Cleaning Industry Embraces Activated Water
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How Engineered Water Fits With Chemical Sales